Former baseball star, Jose Canseco, now 50-years-old, who seemed to always remain in the center of controversy during his MLB career, is in the headlines again – this time for shooting himself in the hand while cleaning his personal handgun on Oct. 28. The gun, a Ruger pistol, accidentally discharged in Canseco’s Las Vegas home around 2:30 p.m. yesterday, according to NBC News.
Police in Vegas referred to the accidental shooting as a “serious hand injury” which damaged one of the fingers on the ex-slugger’s left hand. Multiple media outlets including The Daily News, are reporting that Canseco blew his finger clean off. According to Canseco’s fiancé who was with him when the gun went off, his finger was “hanging by a thread.”
Lt. Mark Reddon of the Las Vegas Metro Police reported that there was “nothing suspicious” and no foul play intended with Canseco’s use of the weapon. The former ball player just didn’t know there was still a live round in the gun while he was cleaning it. “There was no alcohol involved, just a misstep with a handgun,” Reddon said.
Canseco’s fiancé, model Leila Knight, who tended to her beau’s injury, said the gun went off while Canseco was sitting at the kitchen table. In her words, the gun discharged “and blew off the middle finger of his left hand.” It all sounded pretty serious.
“He had been at the shooting range a few days earlier. He didn’t know it was loaded.”
“The middle finger was hanging by a thread, and I wrapped his hand in a towel and then called 911. The doctors said they would either have to amputate or do reconstructive surgery. But if they do surgery, he won’t be able to use it again. He blew away an artery and a big bone chunk.”
After Knight dialed 911, she also had to file a police report. She was also able to produce the gun license for the responding officers. When the cops asked her if she and her fiancé had gotten into a fight, Knight responded “of course we weren’t. We have four guns in the house. We are now going to have zero. I hate guns.”
Canseco was transported Las Vegas’ University Medical Center. Knight added “Jose is a little freaked out. He keeps saying, ‘Sorry, sorry.’ But we’re extremely lucky, lucky it wasn’t worse, or that he didn’t shoot me.”
Knight spent some time on Twitter following the shooting to keep followers updated on Canseco’s surgery. “This is Leila, Thank you all for the kind words and prayers. Jose is in still surgery and will be ok. Please pray for his finger !!” ~ Jose Canseco / Twitter.
Following the surgery she tweeted from her own Twitter account: “finally safe and sound with my love bug @JoseCanseco . So glad he’s ok and soooo glad I was there when it happened thank god.”
KLAS-TV in Las Vegas reported around 2 p.m. today that Canseco has returned home from the hospital, and is recovering. Everyone in the Canseco camp is hoping that the former slugger’s finger will respond well to the surgery.